Hope Springs Eternal

All eyes remain on the Senate’s bipartisan talks led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) as some optimism persists about a deal on gun reform as early as this week.  

It seems progress is being made after a slew of meetings yesterday. It’s important to caution what might work for Sens. Murphy and John Cornyn (R-TX) and Murphy might not work for either ends of their respective caucuses. But enthusiasm and talks continue. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled optimism yesterday the senators could reach a bipartisan agreement by the end of the week. And Sens. Cornyn and Murphy have each indicated the other is negotiating in good faith. 

This week’s talks come on the heels of last week’s meeting between Murphy, Cornyn, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to discuss a framework on a narrow bipartisan deal on new gun legislation. The talks focused on state-based red flag programs, background checks, school safety and mental health programs.

The House also considered a broader package of gun violence prevention measures last week. Although it’s expected to pass later this week, the package does not have the 60 votes it would need to advance in the Senate. 

At the state level, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) last week called on the state legislature to make recommendations on “school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.”

And the Ohio state legislature passed a bill last week that would empower local boards of education to allow teachers to carry a gun in the classroom with only 24 hours of training—down from 700.